Dental Inlays and Onlays Restorations

Chances are, you are familiar with the use of fillings and dental crowns to treat decay. However, you may not have ever heard of dental inlays and onlays. While fillings are used for smaller cavities and crowns are often used after root canals for deep decay, those in-between cases can be addressed with dental inlays and onlays. These restorations are more sturdy than a filling but less invasive than a dental crown. At Dr. Bostani’s Advanced Dental in Burbank, California, we use these restorations to repair damaged teeth and maintain the health of your smile. 

Dental Inlays and Onlays – What’s the difference?

Dental inlays are used when the damaged or decayed area of the tooth is between the cusps, while onlays include the cusps. Both restorations work similar to a crown, except they do not cover the entire visible portion of the tooth. Dental inlays and onlays are made from the same material, and both serve the function of protecting the tooth when there is decay. 

Dental Fillings versus Dental Inlays

Both procedures involve removing a cavity from the tooth and filling in the space. Where they differ is how the space is filled. Fillings use a composite resin material that is placed right away, only requiring a single visit. 

With dental inlays, the area is filled with a solid piece, typically ceramic, fabricated in a lab. The inlay is created with precise measurements to fill the space and prevent further decay.

Dental Crowns versus Dental Onlays

Both restorations are used for more extensive areas of decay that cannot be repaired with a filling or inlay. The most significant difference between a dental onlay and an inlay is that the onlay will cover the tooth’s cusps. 

Both procedures still require the area of decay to be drilled away. The onlay is fabricated similarly to the inlay in a dental laboratory with precise measurements. Compared to dental crowns, onlays are a less aggressive restoration that can preserve more of the natural tooth structure. 

If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed and requires treatment, the team at Dr. Bostani’s Advanced Dental will walk you through your options to determine which restoration is best. If you are in the Burbank, CA area, call us at (818) 918-5533